IT lays off two longtime employees

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Two longtime employees, both of which had been working at Florida Tech for over a decade, were laid off from the Office of Information Technology.

The two positions that were cut were held by Michael Batson, who was a manager at Technology Support Center, and Ian Koss, who was a web application developer.

Koss was a web app developer and systems integrator. He said his job required him to put together web applications for use by specific departments or the university at large, but he also worked at getting various campus IT systems to talk to each other.

“I was at Florida Tech for almost 14 years and got to work with many intelligent and talented people on many interesting projects; this has severed a lot of professional relationships, and left a lot of unfinished business out there,” Koss said in an emailed statement. “It’s also been awkward because I don’t have any answers for friends and family who want to understand why I was laid off.”

Talks of budget shortfalls have been surfacing as well.

The Vice President of IT, Eric Kledzik, denied requests for comment and directed them to Wes Sumner, the university spokesman.

“Our services that we provide within the university, we have no reason to believe that there should be any interruption in any service,” said Sumner. “We don’t anticipate any loss of service or loss of coverage in the near future for any reason associated with IT.”

He also commented, “As a matter of practice, the university does not discuss personnel matters.”

“Our goal is to do our best as an institution to provide quality service. That may take the form of education in a classroom with professors. That may take the form of quality food in the cafeteria in a service experience in Panther Dining,” Sumner said. “That may take the form of services offered by IT, and so that will remain our commitment, whatever our staffing situation may be. Resources are always prioritized or the student experience.”

Koss said web developers are a bit of a commodity and there will be no shortage of candidates who show the necessary skills on their resume.

“But none of them can list my experience with Florida Tech’s staff and systems on there. It will take any new hire some years to come up to speed and be as efficient as the remaining three web developers,” he said. “While this was not the smoothest of transitions, and there was likely some disappointment over canceled or postponed projects, I don’t think anything is going to catch on fire.”